A study of Muhammad Asad, a European Jewish convert to Islam, who played a prominent role in mid-20th-century Muslim intellectual life, as a thinker and Qur'an translator. The study places him in his political context, with some emphasis on the impact of his Jewish origins.
Jews figure prominently in the history of the modern European encounter with Islam. The similarities between Hebrew and Arabic, the parallels between two faiths grounded in law, and the relative tolerance of Muslim rule toward Jews--all these are said to have permitted many Jews to approach Islam with an understanding and sympathy once uncommon in Europe. Was there a "Jewish discovery of Islam," distinct from Europe's discovery? Is there some unifying characteristic to the approach of these Jewish "discoverers"? In this original volume, contributors assess the approaches to Islam of some of the most famous European Jewish travelers, writers, and scholars.
Is Islamism driven by religious fervor, social protest or national xenophobia? Is the rise of Islamism a threat to stability, tolerance, and order, or is it the first step toward reform, participation, and democratization? These and other questions are debated by nine authors - leading protagonists in the Islamism debate - from the United States, Britain, France, and Israel.
A biography of Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, often identified as the "spiritual leader" of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hizbullah, covering his rise to influence, his political ideas, and his religious concepts.
Over the past decade, the political ground beneath the Middle East has shifted. Arab nationalism the political orthodoxy for most of this century has lost its grip on the imagination and allegiance of a new generation. At the same time, Islam as an ideology has spread across the region, and "Islamists" bid to capture the center of politics. Most Western scholars and experts once hailed the redemptive power of Arabism. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival is a critical assessment of the contradictions of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the misrepresentation of both in the West.
Kramer, Martin. “The Sharifian Propaganda of Eugène Jung.” In The Hashemites in the Modern Arab World: Essays in Honour of the late Professor Uriel Dann, edited by Asher Susser and Aryeh Shmuelevitz, 31-46. London: Frank Cass, 1995.Abstract
A study of the early French champion of Arab nationalism, Eugène Jung.
Kramer, Martin. “Congresses.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, edited by John L Esposito, 1:308-11. 1st ed. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Online access ($)Abstract
A brief survey of efforts to convene pan-Islamic congresses in the 20th century.
Also appeared here: Martin Kramer, “Hizbullah: The Calculus of Jihad,” in Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and Militance (= The Fundamentalism Project, vol. 3), eds. M. Marty and R.S. Appleby (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 539-56.
Kramer, Martin. “Mu’tamar.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam, 7:764-765. 2nd ed. Leiden: Brill, 1993.Abstract
An account of pan-Islamic congresses in modern history.
Kramer, Martin. “Where Islam and Democracy Part Ways.” In Democracy in the Middle East: Defining the Challenge, edited by Yehudah Mirsky and Matt Ahrens, 31-40. Washington, DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Pollicy, 1993.Abstract
Why the interpretation of Islamist movements as democracy movements in disguise reflects wishful or biased thinking
An impressive array of scholars, biographers, and critics from the disciplines of anthropology, history, political science, and psychology explore the diversity of approaches both to writing biography and to reading self-narratives.
Kramer, Martin. “The Moral Logic of Hizballah.” In Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind, edited by Walter Reich, 131-57. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1990.Abstract
An examination of the debate within Hizballah over suicide bombings and hostage-taking.
The foreign hostages in Lebanon are living reminders of the challenge posed to the West by Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed movement of fundamentalist Lebanese Shi’ites. Hezbollah has conducted its operational campaign with a great measure of strategic and tactical savvy. Yet its ideologues understand and represent its struggle as a war without borders whose aim is to redraw the map of the Middle East and ultimately fashion an Islamic world order.
In this Policy Paper, Martin Kramer ascribes the origin of Hezbollah’s hostile vision of the West not only to the policies of Western governments, but to Hezbollah’s own ideological and theological tenets. Kramer offers a broad discussion of authority in Hezbollah; an analysis of Hezbollah’s vision of an Islamic world order; an account of its presentation of the United States, Israel, Western Europe, and the Soviet Union; and reflection on the centrality of ideas in Hezbollah’s rise and subsequent development.